Inflation for the first quarter of 2019 came in at 0.0 per cent. Zero. Nada. It's time for the Reserve Bank to act, writes Richard Holden.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development finds Australia has one of the highest rates of casual workers among its 34 member countries, and warns 36 per cent of Australian jobs face a significant or high risk of automation.
Online job ads are in a steep decline, with construction-related sectors posting the biggest fall in vacancies, and when job ads decrease unemployment usually rises.
Prices didn't go up over the first three months of the year. On the face of it, this sounds great for consumers, but the economic reality is that it's better for the wealthy than the workers.
Another quarter of weak inflation may be good news for cash-strapped consumers — and it may also be good for borrowers, by putting the Reserve Bank under more pressure to cut interest rates.
Having looked like it was running out of puff, the world's second-largest economy and Australia's most important trading partner appears to have regained momentum on the back of new stimulus measures.
Union boss Sally McManus said Australia has some of the highest rates of temporary and insecure work, but experts told RMIT ABC Fact Check that measuring these conditions is not straightforward.
The RBA seems to be getting a bit twitchy about the tension between strong employment and low wage growth. The next couple of months are crucial about whether interest rates are going up or down.
The Reserve Bank says if housing prices continue to fall heavily borrowers could hit "negative equity", where the amount owing on their mortgages is higher than the value of their property.